When people, young and old, think of a trim trail they think of fun and challenge, and this is as it should be. Having a good time and working out at the same time is what a trim trail should be about. Schools, however, need to derive more benefit than that. A trim trail today can serve as an effective area of the school curriculum.
In Scotland, the Curriculum for Excellence exists, however, the thinking behind this is as relevant in the rest of Britain as well. The new curriculum has four capacities which aim to develop successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens, and effective contributors. Through this, children will develop knowledge, skills and attributes they need to flourish in life, learning and work in the future. What relevance has a trim trail in this you may ask?
Firstly, I suggest that pupils are involved in the initial planning of trim trail equipment if it doesn’t already exist. Pupils from the top end to the lower end of the school can put forward their views on what the trail should comprise. Thus they contribute effectively developing confidence and citizenship skills and have the added prestige of contributing to the project and getting new playground equipment for How to make use of a Trim Trail in your sports lessons
Secondly, when the trail is being used during school break times part of the supervision should be carried out by older pupils alongside adults. This will also be an opportunity to demonstrate ideas about the use of the equipment to younger pupils, so it is not just keeping an eye on smaller children. Senior pupils will again develop their contribution, citizenship and confidence skills.
Thirdly, to further develop this I suggest that older pupils draw up programmes for different stages in the school. For example, this can involve taking the beam and outlining simple approaching and leaving the beam safely for nursery and early years, simple balances, a combination of balances to working in pairs with older pupils. A written and graphic card for each stage can be on display at relevant times. This covers all pupils becoming successful learners as well as developing the skills previously mentioned above.
Finally, on a more curricular area, all schools are now actively promoting more P.E. time in the curriculum. The trim trail is an excellent opportunity for teachers to take pupils outside to use the trim trail as part of outdoor activities. This relieves the pressure on hall spaces in schools and is also a whole lot of fun. P.E. for many children is a chore, something they dread as they are not very good at ball sports, athletics or gymnastics. A trim trail can take away this fear, with the added benefit that it can provide a challenge and keep children healthy if used regularly and well.